Paintings by Chelsea Davine
“Much of my work is based on nature and this show focuses on the interplay between light and dark. Our eyes are drawn to how the sun streams through the canopy of a beech forest or how the weak winter’s sun reflects off the snow in a mountain forest. I try to capture its elusive quality using copper, gold and silver leaf on a range of materials from canvas to black steel with oil and acrylic. Each piece is formed of layers of leafing, oil and varnish. The overall effect is to create depth and a deep tonality in each piece.”
Open daily, 10.30-4.30pm, free admission.
Chelsea is a British artist who was born in London but grew up in Lyme Regis, on the Dorset coast. After completing her A levels at Exeter 6th Form College Chelsea moved to London in the early 90’s to do her Foundation at Chelsea Art College.
She studied sculpture at the old Hornsey Art College in North London, whose alumni include Richard Wilson, Richard Wentworth and Anish Kapoor. In her second year she completed a 3 month Erasmus sculpture programme at Valencia University.
Chelsea moved to Barcelona shortly after completing her degree enthused by the light and cultural dynamism of the Catalan capital. Once there she returned to her practice and spent time designing bespoke furniture mainly from steel and wood and working in Interior Design.
In 2009 with her first solo show with Tasneem Gallery in Barcelona she moved to a large studio next to Tapies’ studio in the bohemian Gracia area of the city. Her work grew in size and commissions for paintings became a fundamental part of her practice often working with local architects and International clients who walked past her studio.
Chelsea was awarded the Artist in Residence at The Boat Building Academy, Lyme Regis 2010/2012 a mutually beneficial working experience where the line between craft, sculpture and painting became further blurred for Chelsea. This allowed her to explore the themes of ‘Shoreline’ bringing the strands together of corrosion and using steel and sea water.
Chelsea has a long standing relationship with the Russell Gallery in London with whom she has had two solo shows with a third in Spring 2017. She continues to be represented by Villa del Arte Amsterdam / Barcelona as well as Art 5 gallery in Brighton and Luminaire Arts agency based in London and Nordic Art Agency based in Stockhólm. She has shown at art fairs from Singapore to New York, London to Hamburg and has extensive experience of working on private commissions for interior designers and private collectors.
The art critic Alex Bahna-Philips notes, Chelsea’s inspiration is the small, often unnoticed details which make up everyday life: “Chimney smoke, burnished gold, patterns under peeling paint, broken stairs leading nowhere, the ravages of time etched onto metal, a pathway through an arid landscape…”
Since moving to Barcelona with her family in 1998, Chelsea’s work has also been deeply influenced by the light and colour of Spain.
“In London, I used concrete and grey; in Barcelona I use steel, red and gold” , she says.
With her roots in sculpture and her fascination with the passage of time and the relationship between objects and their environment, Chelsea’s work fits into the tradition Eduardo Chillida and Andy Goldsworthy, whose work plays on the temporality of nature with the large abstract expressionism of Rothko and his colour fields.
Sarah Russell-Walling, owner of the Russell Gallery, which represents Chelsea in London says:
“Chelsea’s work has an immediate appeal and a very direct visual impact coupled with an international flavour.”
Tasneem Salam believes that it is precisely her ability to celebrate the mundane along with the vibrancy of Chelsea’s palette and the richness of her texturing that underpins the unique allure of her work. She explains:
“Chelsea’s work, with its wonderful juxtaposition of texture and colour, is an affirmation of the beauty of life, if we know how to look for it.”